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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FAMILY NETWORK

One hundred and thirty well-wishers gathered for a $50-a-plate dinner at the Highland Park Country Club recently to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Family Network, a not-for-profit family-support agency serving more than 700 people from 20 Lake County communities. Among those attending were the 16 local social-service professionals who founded the agency, in addition to Highland Park Mayor Dan Pierce and Dolores Kohl, founder of Kohl Children`s Museum in Wilmette. ``I was delighted to see so many people who have given so much to Family Network,`` said Martha Freeman, one of the center`s founders and its first executive director. ``The center has to keep growing to continue to help families, and I know it will. ``It`s like a reunion,`` said Janet Freund, another founding member. ``We all missed Ruth Stern, the only founder who has died during this 10-year interval, otherwise, it was like old home week. ``I especially enjoyed seeing those women who first participated in the center as mothers and are now helping it as board members and volunteers.`` Bernice Weissbourd, a nationally recognized authority in the family-support field, addressed the group, honoring the founders and executive director Rita Moore by noting that the key to making a program work is the quality of its leaders. ``You knew that no one can be a good parent alone,`` she told them. ``Family Network speaks eloquently to the fact that families of all backgrounds have a right to a family resource center in the same way they have a right to public libraries and schools.`` Family Network provides professional advice on developmental and parenting issues and has an extensive library on family topics. Social services range from discussion groups to crisis intervention.Weissbourd chairs Parent Action, a national advocacy group she founded with renowned pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton in the belief that ``The U.S. family is in serious trouble.`` Weissbourd described the dilemma facing the country`s families by quoting Mother Teresa: ``In India the disease is poverty; in the United States it is loneliness.``

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